Tag Archives: Defamation

Jonathan Turley ~ Dershowitz Threatens To Sue Victim’s Attorneys For Defamation . . . Attorneys Respond By Suing Him First

 “Dershowitz claims to be “thrilled” by the lawsuit but I would be less excited. It would have been better to try to sue for an out-of-court statement for defamation in his own right. After all, Dershowitz is insisting that he only went to Epstein’s island home once and was with his family the whole time.” – J Turley

jonathanTurleyWe previously discussed the threat of retired Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to sue Utah Law Professor and former federal judge Paul Cassell (and his co-counsel Bradley Edwards) for defamation for papers mentioning him in revelation to the sex trafficking scandal of Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein. The lawyers sought unsuccessfully to depose Dershowitz who has been accused of being one of the men who were given underaged girls to sleep with by Epstein. At the time, I wrote that Dershowitz’s statements themselves could be viewed as defamatory and actionable. It appears that Cassell and Edwards were thinking the same thing. They have now sued Dershowitz for defamation.

Dershowitz also made a rare threat of a bar complaint over his representation of a client in the notorious case of billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Even more rare is the source of the threatened complaint: retired law professor Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School. Epstein is good friends with Bill Clinton and Duke of York Prince Andrew, 54, who have been mentioned in litigation over allegations of the use of underaged “sex slaves” and Epstein’s alleged penchant for watching (and filming) people having sex with these girls.

Dershowitz says that the sex claims are a “completely, totally fabricated, made-up story” and that he is an “innocent victim of an extortion conspiracy.” I noted that the reference to extortion itself could be viewed as defamatory since it makes the lawyers active participants in such extortion and any such statements made in public would be unprotected by privilege governing statements in court.

Cassell and Edwards however did not respond in kind and said that they would confine their statements to court filings “out of respect for the court’s desire to keep this case from being litigated in the press.” They noted however that they have “tried to depose Mr. Dershowitz on these subjects, although he has avoided those deposition requests. Nevertheless, we would be pleased to consider any sworn testimony and documentary evidence Mr. Dershowitz would like to provide which he contends would refute any of our allegations.”

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Alex Newman ~ Zimmerman Prosecutor Threatens To Sue Harvard For Professor’s Criticism

The New American | June 6 2012

Angela Corey

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, who is prosecuting George Zimmerman for second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, reportedly threatened to sue Harvard University over the barrage of stinging criticism made by law Professor Alan Dershowitz about the controversial prosecution. The well-known professor publicized the threats on Tuesday.

According to Dershowitz’s account, in a recent phone call to the Ivy League law school made by the special prosecutor, Corey said she would seek to have the Bar Association discipline him for his harsh comments about alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Corey also warned Harvard of potential legal action against Dershowitz for alleged libel and slander, the professor said.

But if the goal was to intimidate or silence Professor Dershowitz, Corey failed miserably. In his widely published statement about the threats, Dershowitz, citing the unalienable right to freedom of speech, continued to lambaste the special prosecutor for what he said was her deliberate effort to mislead the court by hiding the facts. And he promised to continue speaking out on this case and any others of his choosing.

“Even if Angela Corey’s actions were debatable, which I believe they were not, I certainly have the right, as a professor who has taught and practiced criminal law nearly 50 years, to express a contrary view,” wrote Dershowitz, probably the most outspoken and high-profile critic of the prosecution so far.

His public statements on the issue have been widely cited in media reports, and apparently the attacks infuriated Corey. But Dershowitz stood firm despite the threats, adding a new level of criticism against the prosecutor in a case that — due largely to overwhelming publicity and political opportunism — has divided much of the nation.

“The idea that a prosecutor would threaten to sue someone who disagrees with her for libel and slander, to sue the university for which he works, and to try to get him disbarred, is the epitome of unprofessionalism,” Dershowitz added. “Fortunately, truth is a defense to such charges.”
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